All Ugandan Missions abroad have been advised to refrain from arranging flights to repatriate Ugandans stranded abroad until the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has guided on the readiness to receive them.
According to the statement issued on Monday by Patrick Mugoya, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Health Ministry is arranging for testing facilities, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) among others that will be used once the evacuated nationals land in Uganda.
“The Ministry of Health is arranging for testing facilities on arrival, the availability of PPEs for all frontline workers who will be handling the returnees and for adequate and appropriate quarantine centers,” said Mugoya in a statement.
He also noted that the arrival area at Entebbe International Airport is being reorganized to ensure that it meets social distancing standards as prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health.
“In this regard, all missions abroad are advised to refrain from prematurely arranging for repatriation flights until the Ministry headquarters has guided on the readiness to receive our returning citizens in accordance with COVID-19 national guidelines,” Mugoya added.
President Museveni over 2 months ago closed Entebbe International Airport for all passenger planes and International borders in a bid to contain the importation of COVID-19 in the country.
However, due to public outcry and unending calls from Ugandans stranded abroad, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kutesa on May 25, 2020, presented to Cabinet a memorandum on the return of Ugandans who are stranded abroad due to the airport and border closure.
Cabinet then approved in the principle the proposal to allow stranded Ugandans to return in a phased and safe manner.
Accordingly, the concerned Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were tasked to put in place all the necessary facilities that will ensure smooth exercise that provides for the personal safety of the returnees and that of the public in Uganda.